Skip to content

How to plan the timeline of your Fall applications?

Many people are shocked to learn that applications to universities abroad can take anywhere between 6-9 months.

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. And, to do well, you need to have a proper plan in place.

The good news is your future does not depend on the outcome of a single exam. One bad day doesn’t ruin you. You can do many things to put up a winning application in the end.

First things first – you need to follow the timeline so that you do not lose track of multiple things that need to be completed. Applying late or very close to deadlines can be detrimental to success. You do not want to do that.

What is the best time to apply to maximize your chances of admit? When should you take GRE? How long should you work on your SOP and essays? If you have all these questions, you are in the right place.

MS in USA application process can be overwhelming and cumbersome. So, here we have tried to put up an easy to understand timeline so that you can keep a tab on what needs to be completed when.

Discipline and time management is key to cracking your dream schools. And it starts from TODAY.


Take by end of Aug so that you have enough time to retake if necessary
Retake GRE if required by end of Sep (need 21 days between reattempts)

Shortlist Schools

by end of Sep – mid Oct. Here’s full post on how to shortlist schools.

Email Professors

Drop emails to relevant Professors you are interested to work with (especially for people interested in research) by mid of Oct.

Apply for WES

If any of your shortlisted schools require a WES evaluation, apply for it by the end of Oct since it can take a month or more to get their results.

Check for scholarships

There are some third party scholarships available for MS applicants. Search these by end of Oct (so that you can apply by their stated deadlines)

Order transcripts

from your undergraduate college by end of Oct

Finalize SOP, essays and LORs

by mid Nov

Fill the application online and send application packets where required

by end of Nov – mid Dec

Follow up on the status of your applications

and if the required material has been received by the schools in Jan. Resend if anything is amiss

Receive results

by end of Mar-Apr

Submit financial docs for I-20

by end of Apr

Finalize your school and apply for education loan

by May

Appear for visa interview

by end of June

Arrive on the campus

by Aug (2 weeks earlier if you need to look for funding on campus)

That’s it – it is not as cumbersome if you know what to expect. Save this infographic for a quick reminder.

Timeline for MS applications (fall)

For personalized assistance for your applications, check our counseling packages.

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Proven strategies to get into TOP schools

MS Book by Nistha Tripathi


Nistha is undoubtedly the best at what she does. Unlike most counselors who work on a copy-paste strategy, Nistha provides a great user experience, helping you craft a unique coherent story for the admission essay/SOP. She pushes you to think outside the box, something no other counsellor can do. She ensures that you apply to the best schools, providing constructive feedback for every choice. In summary, Scholar Strategy is the Bee’s Knees. Thank You Nistha for being awesome.
Aditya Kapoor, Syracuse (MIS)